Houses of Zulu are made with mud, grass, tree poles, and mud bricks. They used their hands and feet to build houses. In Zulu culture it was a man’s responsibility to build a house, but women also help to build the house. Although it was a man’s responsibility to build houses, a lot of houses were built by women as their husband work far away from homes. The doors of houses must face on the same direction. The floor is made by women using the mixture of cow dung and ant-heap soil, to make the floor strong. Only one door is a point of entry and for exiting that house. Normally these entrances were made to be lower to such a point that when anyone who enters will sort of bow their bodies. At least houses will last for about 10 to 15 years before rebuilding could be done. What happens mostly is that, the family keeps on building other houses just next to that before if falls down or they themselves bring it down.
The roof is made out of thatch that is sewn to the wooden braces with rope made out of grass. The process of completing the thatch can take one weekend or up to two months depending on the builder’s commitment at a time, starting from the bottom working towards the top, each section is sewn, it may be weathered and aged in as form a complete weatherproof seal.
There are different kinds of houses in a Zulu home. Roundavel houses are those which are round in shape, made with mud blocks and with sod, it is used as a sleeping room.
The square houses are square in shape. This house is used as a visitor’s room. Huts are the houses that are built with grass from the wall up to the roof. These houses are called granny’s house as it is where ancestors stay. They usually cook outside the house on the yard.
Source: Traditional Buildings
Writer: Allen G Noble
Publisher: I.B. Tauris year 2007
Other source: Mr. Gumbi
The Builder of traditional houses at Umbumbulu
Izindlu zesintu sakwazulu zakhiwa ngezindlela ezahlukahlukene. Kukhona lezo ezakhiwa zibe amaqhugwane kanye nalezo eziba yindilinga kanye nalezo eziba yizikwele. Izindlu zakhiwa ngotshani,udaka,amasoyi kanye nezintingo. Phansi indlu iyagandayiwa ngodaka kanye nobulongwe ukuze iqine. Phezulu uphahla lwakhiwa ngezintingo bese kuthungelwa ngotshani ukuze kungangeni imvula uma kunetha.indlu eyindilinga kulalwa kuyo. Indlu eyisikwele eyokuhlalisa abantu bokufika noma bokuhamba. Amaqhugwana wona kushiselwa kuwo impephe ngoba athathwa njengendlu ekuhlala kuwo amadlozi.
By Bongiwe Ndlovu